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Once there is a solid foundation of knowledge, an individual can begin to understand how their actions affect other people's feelings. Also, understanding why a person acts a certain way increases empathy.

The best way to understand and empathize with diverse groups is to put yourself in their shoes. Here are some ideas to try:

  1. Try using a wheelchair for a day.
  2. Volunteer at an assisted living home or a place with people who represent different generations.
  3. Talk to people from different groups. Ask questions and listen to stories.
  4. Research different religions. Attend a religious service and listen to the different opinions and beliefs.
  5. Try foods from different parts of the world. Discover what traditions or special meanings are associated with the different foods. Some foods have cultural stories.
  6. Attend or volunteer at a Special Olympics event.
  7. Attend a women's rights conference or meeting. Listen and talk to the attendees.

By increasing understanding and learning to empathize we see how different people view the world and we are less likely to judge others.